THE Daily News asked all of the city's Democratic mayoral candidates whether they'd try to persuade Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to stay on for another term or instead search for his replacement - either from within the department or from another city.
"Of the many police officers I know in command positions in the Philadelphia Police Department, I would certainly consider and give first priority to those in the department.
"However, the prudent thing is to also give consideration to qualified applicants from other cities who - like our present police commissioner who came to us via Washington, D.C. - can bring other talents to the table.
"Before I would do either of the above, I would ask Commissioner Ramsey if he would consider remaining. Commissioner Ramsey has done an outstanding job. If, for reasons best known to him, he wishes to depart Philadelphia or is recruited to go elsewhere, I would seek his advice and counsel as to whom he believes would best serve the interest of the public as commissioner.
"Whoever is appointed must be willing to implement the reforms that Commissioner Ramsey has stated he would implement from the two reports recently published - the one from the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which he chaired for President Obama, and the other from the U.S. Department of Justice, which Commissioner Ramsey asked to be done.
"The most important thing we must do is to enhance and cement trust and confidence by and between the public and our police officers, so they can serve and protect in the highest tradition of safety, security and community policing."
"I think that Chuck Ramsey has probably been one of the best, if not the best, police commissioners we've had in this city. I don't know what his plans are moving forward . . . so I'd talk to him first, if I get [elected].
"If it's not him, I don't plan to go outside the department. I think the talent level in the upper ranks in this department is excellent. A lot of the time that Chief Ramsey spends outside of the city, the department is still being run by people here. So I have no need for a national search."
Anthony Hardy Williams
"Charles Ramsey has been an effective commissioner, and if I were elected, the decision to stay with the department would be up to him."
"The most important thing to have in the next police commissioner, whether it's Commissioner Ramsey or whomever else, is having someone who is going to implement a community-policing strategy to help repair the trust between the police and the community, and reduce the crime rate."
"I believe the Philadelphia Police Department has sufficient talent and capable leadership that currently exists within the command structure. There would be no need to look outside of Philadelphia for a police commissioner."
"Ramsey's gone. I would appoint somebody from within the department. I think it's very, very offensive to the Philadelphia Police Department to go on a long national search, as if to say we don't have a qualified person [here]. I would hire somebody who lives in Philadelphia, was born and raised in Philadelphia and plans to stay in Philadelphia when they retired. You want someone who has an investment in the city."